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It’s been a long time since I did a Q&A. This one from love is blonde seemed like a good thing to do. She had a lot to celebrate as 2012 came to an end; I hope 2013 is our year to celebrate.
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
I traveled to Massachusetts and met my husband’s extended family. I’d never been to New England before. Geordie’s family is great, very loving and very kind to us, but also very boisterous and alive. I like that about them. They take care of each other, which is one of the most important things about being a family. I think Geordie and I are both pretty lucky in how supportive our families were this past year. We needed that.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for this year?
Kinda and yes. I kept some resolutions. Others kinda fell to the wayside a bit. But I never really gave up on them. It’s just that some of them didn’t need doing anymore. So, I’m making resolutions for 2013. They have nothing to do with becoming a new person, just about being a better me. I’ll probably be posting those tomorrow. One thing’s for certain – I want to blog more in 2013 than I did in 2012.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin’s second child arrived in March. He arrived a little earlier than he should have, but both he and my cousin’s wife made it safely through the delivery, and he’s a good-looking healthy boy now. I’ve also seen a number of my fellow babyloss mamas give birth to rainbow children, which is beyond awesome. I’m getting better at looking at baby pictures, and it can be quite comforting to see their little rainbows and know that there’s hope for us this year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Geordie’s aunt died on May 1st, before I’d had a chance to meet her. I wish I had been able to – she is much loved and much missed by her family. It was totally unexpected; she was only in her 40′s, just a handful of years older than Geordie. Also, one of my great-uncles on my father’s side died in late October. He was much older, but the death was still sudden.
5. What countries did you visit?
None other than the US. Too bad. And we don’t really have any plans for going out of country this year.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?
A baby. Since we don’t plan on actively trying to conceive until March or April, it seems unlikely that will happen. I’ll settle for a pregnancy.
7. What dates will be etched upon your memory, and why?
May 1st, the day Geordie’s aunt died. I was stuck in bed with a stomach illness for much of it, but I remember how this family came together to comfort each other and provide support. It was a tragic thing to witness, but also very beautiful. Also, the days we spent at Mt. Washington celebrating our first anniversary, how carefree and happy we were. It was exactly what we needed. And, of course, the Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Maybe this will seem silly, but the roasting of the birds. Before 2012, I had never roasted a whole bird. Now, I’ve successfully roasted chicken, duck, and turkey. I never realized how simple it would be.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Honesty, I’m having a hard time answering this one. I don’t feel like I failed much at anything this year. Everyone says that you need to be gentle with yourself when you’re mourning, and I’ve tried to do that. I’ve tried not to push myself too much, to do only that which I know I can do. I feel bad about not blogging much over the summer, but it just wasn’t what I needed to do at the time. I wish I had spent more time making Lauren’s quilt, but it’s been difficult to work on. I’m hoping to get more done with it this year.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We didn’t make any major purchases last year, so I’m having a hard time coming up with “the best thing.” We adopted the kittens. They’re pretty cool.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All our family and friends. The support we have received in the past year has been amazing.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The financial aid lady from the Art Institute.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Into the move to San Antonio. Well worth it.
15. What did you get really excited about?
The Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun, the joint birthday party Heather and I throw for ourselves. It was our first since 2009, and it was possibly the best every. We’re going to have to work hard to top it this year.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
“Gangnam Style.” I like this song, though I can’t really figure out why. I just like it.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder, b) thinner or fatter, c) richer or poorer?
Happier, I think. A little more at peace with things.
Pretty much the same, actually. I wish I could say thinner, but that’s better than the alternative.
Richer, seeing as how we’ve got an income and all.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing. Like, serious novel writing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Sitting around and doing nothing. Though, to be fair, that can be pretty therapeutic.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Quietly, at home, with family. The best way to spend Christmas.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I could go with the sappy answer and say I fell in love with Geordie all over again, but to me, that feels like an implication that I fell out of love with him. And that simply didn’t happen. Though, I could honestly say I love him more than ever.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
“Chopped.” I watched the Food Network pretty exclusively last year. And even that stopped when we moved to San Antonio and never bought a TV. Now we have one, but no cable (by choice). We’re sticking with Netflix and working our way through “Law & Order.”
23. What was the best book you read?
The “Hunger Games” series. I probably liked “Mockingjay” best, but you’ve really got to take them as a whole. There’s a lot to like about them, but it’s the twisting together of despair and hope that make them work so well for me. I loved the epilogue, that the main character felt the effects of her life far into adulthood but still managed to claim some happiness. She didn’t just get better; she learned to live with it. I know what it means to do that.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I only recently started listening to the radio again. I haven’t been much interested in music since Lauren died. But I like fun., especially their song “Carry On.” Again, it’s that message of hope amidst despair.
25. What did you want and get?
A job for Geordie, a home of our own, two adorable kittens, some stability, a little peace of mind. I would have liked to have gotten pregnant, but that really wasn’t feasible in 2012. We’re leaving that for 2013.
26. What did you want and not get?
That pregnancy I mentioned. Other than that, not much.
27. What was your favorite film of 2012?
In regards to released in theaters in 2012, I saw only one – “The Hunger Games,” which I enjoyed, but not as much as the book. I’ve rather lost interest in seeing movies in theaters. I’ve been disappointed by too many of them in recent years.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31. How strange it is. But I celebrated it the best way possible, with BFF Heather (whose birthday is a day after mine). Years ago, we started the tradition of the Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun, during which we cook a huge meal and feed it to our guests. Our theme this year was “Apple,” which worked wonderfully.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If Geordie had gotten this job sooner. Not to complain. It’s a good job, and we’re lucky to be happy where we are. But it would have been nicer to be secure sooner. But then we wouldn’t have had so much time to spend in Massachusetts, so that’s okay too.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
Flatlined. I have clothes that fit me. I bought what I needed. That is all.
31. What kept you sane?
Geordie. I would not have made it through this year without him. He is what makes life worth living.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Debates over who has control over reproduction. That decision belongs to each individual person, not to third-parties who have no knowledge of the particular circumstances. And that’s all I’ll say about it.
33. Who do you miss?
Lauren. Every single day.
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Life doesn’t stop because of tragedy. It pauses a while, but it goes on. You can take a break from life when you need to, but you can’t give up on it. And you can’t expect others to pause when or as long as you do. It’ll keep going without you.
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“When you’re lost and alone/or you’re sinking like a stone,/carry on.”
36. What else will always remind you of 2012?
Everything. I can’t see how I could forget the first full year we spent without Lauren. There will be so many years to follow, but 2012 was the first. It was so hard, but we survived it. That’s all there is to it.
Happy 2013, folks. I hope it’s a good one.
So, if you’re counting (and maybe you’re not, but I am), I only did nine of my twelve treats. That’s because my family showed up, and not only did I not get around to posting about the treat, I didn’t even get around to making them.
I was going to make frosted sugar cookies to welcome them to Texas. Didn’t happen.
I was going to make red velvet cupcakes for Christmas Day dinner. Didn’t happen.
We were going to make peanut butter balls as a family, as we’ve done for years. Didn’t happen.
It was a combination of family getting together, holiday excitement, and the sudden onset of a cold. All in all, not the best baking conditions. Not the best cooking ones either. I did make them a fantastic beef daube and an awesome turkey (my first turkey ever!), so I’m glad for that.
As for when those three treats will be made . . . well, I dunno. I’d still like to do the cupcakes. Honestly, I’d like to do all three, because they are yummy and I love them. And peanut butter balls last forever in the freezer (except they don’t really, because I can’t resist eating them for that long). So maybe there’s hope for them yet.
For now, I’ve got a little cold to worry about, and kittens to keep an eye on. They sleep a lot and take pretty good care of themselves, but they’re also on the curious side, especially when I’m in the kitchen messing around with stuff on the counters and they can’t see what it is. Also, Yuzu really really likes to know what we’re eating. And the leftover turkey we had last night received plenty of attention.
So maybe I’ll get around to the three remaining treats. Maybe not. We’ll see. All I know is, I’m ready for 2013. I’m ready for January to be here, and we can get back to regular schedules and stuff.
And considering that we’ve been hearing (and sometimes seeing) fireworks nightly since the weekend before Christmas, I’m willing to bet that I’m going to wish we could just fast-forward to the 2nd and be done with it. I love Christmas, but I am not a great fan of New Year’s.
Except for the champagne. I do like champagne.
This is both an apology and an explanation. Mostly the latter.
Since Lauren died, I’ve had a hard time being interested in birthdays. Aside from my own and my BFF‘s though (which are only one day apart and therefore are combined to form a super-birthday, the Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun). That may sound kind of selfish. Maybe it is. But the 2012 BFoF was the first we’d had since 2009, so it seemed appropriate to make our usual big deal out of it. Really, it’s not so much the birthday thing as it is a chance to get together with Heather, invite a bunch of people over, and feed them awesome food that we spend two day making.
Other than that, I’ve pretty much ignored birthdays. I don’t even remember what I did for Geordie’s birthday. I think I made him cupcakes. And something he wanted for dinner. I know I bought him a present, but I have no recollection of what it was. I know for certain that I only sent emails to my parents on their birthdays. I don’t recall calling them, although maybe I did. It just doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.
That’s a terrible thing to say. “Birthdays don’t matter much.” Who says that?
The babylost, that’s who.
I’m not going to say that I get bitter and angry about birthdays because Lauren will never be able to celebrate her own birthday. That’s just not how I feel about it. That is how some of the babylost feel about it, though, and I can totally understand why. It’s not fair. It’s not right. We shouldn’t have to pretend to be happy about birthdays. If we don’t feel like being happy, we shouldn’t have to be for someone else’s sake. It’s their birthday – let them be happy about it. They should be happy about it. For the babylost, however, it’s another reminder of something their children will never have.
For me, I just can’t bring myself to care very much about birthdays. It’s hard to get in the mood to celebrate life when you can’t celebrate the one birthday that means the absolute most to you.
So, this year, for the most part, I’ve ignored birthdays. I’ve acknowledged that they’ve occurred, and then I’ve just kind of avoided them until they went away. I did the same thing with Mother’s Day. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not. I’m not concerned about it. It’s how I feel, and I’m dealing with that. I can’t promise that next year will be better, that I’ll be in the mood for making happy about birthdays. Geordie’s, probably, even though it won’t be a big deal, because that’s how he is about his birthday. The BFoF, because that’s tradition and it involves more than just me – it’s a friendship ritual. It’s less about birthdays and more about a celebration of the nearly decade-old friendship between Heather and me.
But I do feel that I’ve neglected to anticipate and celebrate birthdays, and I feel bad about that, because I’ve always felt that birthdays were meant to be celebrated. Now, that takes effort for me to do. I can barely make the effort to wish people “happy birthday” on Facebook. Most of the time, I don’t even try. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that, right now, I’m not into birthdays. Carry on without me.
So, just what is the point of this explanation?
Two days ago, my god-daughter turned 10. I sent no card, sent no present, gave her no phone call. I remembered it on Monday and thought, oh, I should do something. And I promptly did nothing.
Heather, please tell your daughter that I’m sorry I gave her a big fat nada on her 10th birthday. I’ll make it up to her at Christmas. I promise!
And to anyone else whose birthday I’ve missed this past year: I’m sorry about that too. I’ll try harder next year. That’s about all I can promise.
In the meantime, a very merry unbirthday to all of you! Enjoy it!
Because that’s all the birthday celebration you’re getting from me right now.